Saturday, August 20, 2011

Autumn Meanderings

My vacation time is now nearing a close, and I will be back to work next week. Autumn is nearing, with the familiar stillness, and sense of preparedness I often notice in the air. I often find I hear more calls of crows as fall grows closer, I wonder if they begin flocking nearby for fall migration as the days grow shorter. I have usually associated hearing more crows and geese as a sign of fall, not sure why.

Fall often feels like a time of pulling together, and preparing for school and routine - new books, pencils, new clothes - a sense of newness and anticipation.

Here in our household Paul, my son is engaged in preparations to intern as a high school science teacher - with a similar sense of excitement and hopefulness.

I look forward to returning to my work at the daycare center where I work, as our children who start kindergarten will be filled with excitement, and preparations for their start of school, and this is always fun to observe and be apart of. And with my own small 2 year old group - I will be greeting even younger ones "moving up" to my group, and I always enjoy helping them settle, and be comfortable. I find before long these little ones  have started developing their own set of rules, routines, and favourite activities. Each group, each year is a different group - and it is so interesting to me to watch this develop. It's a privilege to see young children grow, learn. and start on the path of who they are.

And of course there are the familiar themes and art associated with autumn (even though early childhood education has now changed so that most plans and programs are more open, and less structured - I still enjoy offering some of the more traditional fall art and activities, although in a more flexible, open way) - tasting apples; making apple pie; reading about harvest; scarecrows; gathering fall leaves and gluing them to paper; pressing leaves in wax paper; painting at the easel in glowing reds, oranges, and gold; shopping for the perfect pumpkin; making pumpkin pie; singing fall songs.. autumn offers so many wonderful opportunities  to experience beauty, awe, and celebration!

I'm enjoying reading several books at this time.

 The Forest Horses by Byrna Barclay, a local Regina author, is a wonderful novel. The story follows the main character as she explores her family's past and takes the reader back in time to wartime Russia, and the seige of Leningrad; and returns to modern day Russia, and Saskatchewan. It's a good read, and very well written. Bryna Barclay is an award winning author, who also was a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2005. I'm so glad I've discovered her writing.

I'm enjoying a book on one of my favourite topics - crows. In the past I've read several good books on crows. Two of my favourites were Bird Brains, by Candace Savage, 1995; and Crows, Ravens, and Magpies by  Tony Angell, 1978. I've found another favourite book at the library - Crows and Ravens, by John Marzluff, and Tony Angell, 2005. Tony Angell is an artist and his books are graced with his wonderful illustrations of these fine birds.

I think I have a personal affinity with crows, for some reason - I believe I must have been amazed and in awe by their calls - I was a child who spent quite a lot of time outside, often on my own, thinking, pondering, and just scuffing my feet in our dusty back lane. I would actually just sit  against the fences in the backlane, daydreaming and observing - my parents had a difficult marriage, and this was my refuge. I think the call of the crow just resonated in my soul for some reason.

I do plan to write in celebration of crows here, once I've finished my "research", and brought my thoughts together in a more comprehensible way. :)

Lastly, I'm reading a Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This is a an old, time tested classic - and I've never read it, but my son recommended it to me - and I'm loving it. Dale Carnegie writes in an easy to read way; is very humble himself and provides some easy to learn guidelines for getting along with people. I often noticed it on bookshelves, but thought of him as out of date. However his wisdom seems timeless, and I'm finding I can certainly use his advice today.

Hoping and wishing you will have a wonderful, leisurely weekend wherever you are!


sparksinshadow said...

I don't understand Blogger very well, I'm sorry, but it swallowed up a three pargraph comment that I can't quite reconstruct now! I'll simply repeat that I hope you'll let us know if you see differences in your relationships after reading the Carnegie book. (If so, maybe I could use the book for help in influencing potential employers!)

And I also said it's nice to hear about your rich life -- so many stories you can find in there!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thank you so much Re. Well, I didn't realize my friends who would like to comment were having difficulty as well. I thought the problem only occurred when I wanted to comment and had to do with the setting on my son's computer. Thank you for the heads up, maybe it is something I need to adjust on my blog.

As well I just read of another person's trouble making comments on Blogger, so possibly there is a more pervasive problem now.

I'm sorry I missed your first comment, it is disappointing to take the time to write a comment and have it disappear,

Many thanks for your kind comment here!

I'll be sure and let you know if I do find the Carnegie book effective. Good luck with your search for your perfect job!

sandy said...

I remember that old book. Both of my parents read it. Maybe I should have a go at it.

I copied your crow book names. The crows are my buddies, too.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

I think you might enjoy this book. :)
Hope you also might like the crow books, the one by Candace Savage, is a Saskatchewan author, and very interesting; and Tony Angell's illustrations in his 2 books are wonderful.
Thanks for checking in!

The Boston Lady said...

My daughter had to read that Dale Carnegie book last semester for one of her Hospitality classes. Sometimes old advice is the best advice. How I wish we had Autumn here. Florida is a weather-frustration for me. The Autumn in Toronto used to be my favorite time of year. It's all about change and getting ready for renewal in the spring! Hope your start to the school year is a good one. Ann

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Ann, thanks so much for dropping in.
I agree, there is something to the old advice.
What did your daughter think of the book - it is interesting that it is still required reading today, I'll have to let my son know.

I do enjoy the change of the seasons, but not many of us like winter! :)

You must have lots of beauty in Florida?


Teri C said...

You always write such an interesting post Brenda. I enjoy reading them. I have another friend who has an affinity for crows and they often appear in her artwork.

Yes, autumn is sneaking up on us way too fast. I am wondering where August went.

Take care and enjoy your kids.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Teri, Thanks for checking in here, it's always nice to hear from you.